This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 12th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.



Thursday, August 20, 2020

Learn to write with Structure and Style from Institute for Excellence in Writing {IEW} ~ a TOS review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations. 

Morning! Have you narrowed down what you will use to teach your children to write this year? Writing…I know! The thought of teaching writing can either strike fear into you or make you giddy. Honestly, I have been hovering between the two camps since earlier this year as I have been searching for a writing program to use for my 5th grader. Typically, I don’t teach writing until the latter years of middle school, but this year I wanted to give McKenzie a gentle start as she has shown interest. We have dabbled with many middle and high school writing programs before over the course of our 12 years homeschooling so you can best believe I was supper happy when the opportunity to try Structure and Style® for Students Year 1 Level A from Institute for Excellence in Writing® (IEW) with McKenzie over the course of the summer.

If you are a new homeschooler I am pretty sure you have heard the buzz about IEW. If you don’t know, IEW was founded by Andrew Pudewa who sought to provide a better way to teaching children the skill of writing. Because we were knee deep in life I didn’t even track my box after we received our shipping notice. So when my box arrived, I did a little happy dance as I unpacked the contents.
Everything you need to start the writing program is inside the box, including:

 ~ Student Binder and Packet ~ Teacher’s Manual ~ DVD or Streaming instructional videos

 *you get to choose your format, we received the Streaming option for this review which means we can reuse the program with multiple students.
 

The Structure and Style for students program comes in three levels A, B, & C and provides instruction for children in grades 3-12. The students are instructed in writing by Mr. Pudewa who is teaching in a small group setting and directly to your child as if they were sitting inside the classroom as well. Mr. Pudewa injects his sense of witty humor into the program through his assignments etc.

This course covers covers 24-weeks of instruction using IEW’s structural models and stylistic techniques and lays a solid foundation in writing. If you need/want to stretch out the course there is a 30 week schedule available as well.

So, McKenzie my 5th grader, was my tester for this review. As I said above she has just started showing interest in learning to write so I want to take advantage of her eagerness and willingness to learn. I am so happy to report that McKenzie has flourished with using this program! I love that she has taken the initiative to want to do her writing each week.

Watching her find her keyword outlines and then retelling the story to me has been great! For about 1 hour, three times a week McKenzie has been able to work somewhat independently on the program. She is able to pause the video when needed to write her Key Word Outline and I am never more than an arms reach away though in case she needs help.
This is not our first time using IEW. Years ago I owned IEW and used it with Marie. I will admit, I failed at that time and the program was overwhelming to me and it just did not “click” with the girls so I sold my SWI-C set. A few years later we were given the opportunity to give IEW another shot to use SWI-B with Mikayla and I am so incredibly thankful for that chance because it clicked for her. From that point forth we have moved forward full steam ahead with IEW’s approach to writing. While we have been taking our writing slowly, I have seen great improvement in McKenzie’s writing and the ability to pick out the key word outlines and putting her thoughts on paper.

Our experience with IEW has been fantastic and I recommend this program hands down! This is one of the few programs out there where you have to look past the price and just go for it! Think of it as an investment in your child’s future especially if you have more than one! 
My 8th grader is also using IEW for writing, utilizing our SWI-B set that we already have. It's going to be a great year of writing! Be sure to check out my CrewMates thought of this product as well as the other two writing programs reviewed. Click on the banner below to read all the review.

 Format ~ Forever Streaming 
 Price ~ $149.00 
 Ages ~3rd-5th graders

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